Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Admirable cello and piano lunchtime concert by Inbal Megiddo and Diedre Irons

By , 18/09/2015
In earlier days the university's lunchtime concerts were on Thursdays, both when I was a student a century ago and when I started reviewing for the Evening Post in the 1980s. It was more convenient for me as for many years Fridays have been proscribed and I have rarely managed to get to them. The chance to hear cello sonatas by Beethoven and Brahms was too hard to resist however, and... read more

Technically brilliant, varied and versatile recital by New Zealand Guitar Quartet

Djembe is based on its namesake, a traditional African stretched-skin drum played with the hands. To reflect these origins, York makes full play of the various drumming abilities of the guitar with wonderfully lively writing, as well as other clever effects like harmonics. York’s passion for this ensemble combination (he is a former member of the renowned Los Angeles Guitar Quartet) shone through every bar. The group effectively exploited... read more

Beethoven and bravura violin music from Valerie Rigg and Mary Barber at Old St Paul’s

By , 15/09/2015
I had no knowledge of the programme till I arrived on this sunny, breezy morning, at Old Saint Paul’s, now famous as one of the most beautiful buildings in New Zealand. So that in spite of sightline problems here and there, and acoustic oddities with some sounds, the pleasures to be found just to be there are great. The stained glass creations, among almost an entire suite of stained... read more

Young Musicians Programme in another impressive concert supported by Music Futures

By , 13/09/2015
This concert, a showcase for a large number of the students who have participated in Victoria University’s Young Musicians Programme was the second in the space of six weeks. It was facilitated by Music Futures. After the Friends of the NZSO wound up, Valerie Rhodes was approached by an orchestra member with the suggestion of an organisation to support young musicians. That led to the formation of Music Futures in 2011 and... read more

Memorable, glamorous, musically interesting evening with Renée Fleming and the NZSO

What a generous singer is Renée Fleming, performing so many items for us!  Yet she seemed as relaxed at the end as she was at the beginning, and in just as good voice. Although much of what she sang could be termed popular classical, it was all fine music.  It was good to see James Judd on the podium again, controlling the considerable forces. Poised almost above the percussion, it... read more

Talent aplenty at Wellington Aria Contest but poor publicity denies finalists deserved audience

By 7.50pm on Sunday there were 5 people seated in the audience; by 7.10pm when the singing began there were about 30.  Of these, most appeared to be other contestants in the earlier stages, teachers, family members, and Hutt Valley Performing Arts Competitions Society officials. Where is the publicity?  The previous Sunday there were well over 300 people attending a concert in Waikanae by Tākiri Ensemble, comprising Anna Leese, Bianca... read more

Going for it at St.Andrew’s – Te Kōkī Trio

By , 06/09/2015
This was a mighty concert experience - here were three musicians bent upon drawing all that they could out of the music and of themselves, resulting in performances of great excitement and intensity. The thrills and spills that inevitably came with such an approach simply added to the visceral nature of the experience, so that, at the end, we all felt we'd seen and heard something alive and real In... read more

Fine choral concert spanning the centuries from The Tudor Consort

The first half that comprised perhaps normal Tudor Consort fare, the second half plunged into the nineteenth and even the twentieth centuries. The title of the concert derived from the fact that most of the pieces performed were written for sixteen voices; some in two or four choirs, some for sixteen separate voices.  A few of the works were sung by 20 or 21 voices, as was the opening work... read more

Breaking the concert mould, with fateful results – Orchestra Wellington

By , 05/09/2015
Breaking the mould, as Marc Taddei and Orchestra Wellington have done repeatedly and successfully over the last few seasons, this concert presented no less than TWO concertos, and for different instruments! The orchestra could have gone the whole hog and asked Michael Houstoun to play the Tchaikovsky Second Piano Concerto after the interval (the one with the concerto-like parts for violin and 'cello) - but the name of the... read more

Audience delights in evocative, danceable music from the age of Shakespeare from Robert Oliver’s consort of viols

The name Palliser Viols had not meant anything to me, but it turned out to be a group led by that master of early music, Robert Oliver. The brief but excellent programme notes confirmed that all the composers were English, and that the reason why William Brade’s music was published in Hamburg was because he spent his career in Denmark and Germany.  Nevertheless, a certain sameness in the music doubtless... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy